Fresno State Athletic Director Terry Tumey delivered a message to the community on Monday following the window-breaking incident at Valley Children’s Stadium that left fans injured from shards of glass.
Tumey, who spoke to the media ahead of Head Coach Jeff Tedford’s weekly press conference Monday morning, confirmed that the university is taking action to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.
“First and foremost, as you recognize, the health and well-being of our patrons is of utmost importance. There’s nothing more critical to us that our fans have an amazing experience at Valley Children’s Stadium, and of course the incident that occurred was truly unfortunate. Of course our university is doing everything it can to address that issue and make sure that those families that were affected are safe,” Tumey said.
“That’s the most important thing to us. That’s the most important thing to our leadership, and as we move forward we’ll continue to safeguard from incidents like that from occurring in the future. However, of course, it was unfortunate and wanted to make sure that you recognize that our priority is our fans, and our priority is our student-athletes and our community and we’ll always keep that at the forefront.”
Shortly before halftime in Fresno State’s 17-10 win over San Jose State on Saturday, a member of Fresno State’s coaching staff broke a window in the coaches’ booth next to the press box after the Spartans scored their lone touchdown of the game.
The window was made of untempered glass, so shards rained down on fans sitting in the seats below.
Tumey confirmed that multiple people were injured. One set of individuals were treated on campus. Two other individuals were taken to Valley Children’s Hospital and cared for.
The unidentified coach was placed on administrative leave, and Tumey said the coach is “extremely remorseful for those actions.”
“I can honestly say that of course this is an emotional game and those things do occur, of course. There’s no way to justify what occurred, of course, but very remorseful, understands that that type of behavior is not acceptable.”
Tedford confirmed Monday that the coach serves in a support role, not one of the coordinators or position coaches.
“Very unfortunate incident, something that he is sick about, really. But I think it’s a lesson to anyone in any sport in a press box it’s not a good idea, because you don’t know if that’s glass or plexiglass or whatever it is. Nobody knows, so it was very unfortunate. He just feels sick about it, as we all do,” Tedford said.
Tedford said he reached out to both parties that were affected to extend his apologies and the program’s concern and was able to talk to one of them.
“It’s a lesson for anybody because it could’ve happened in the visitor’s box, it could’ve been in any one of those boxes. It’s unacceptable,” Tedford said. “You can’t do that. It’s a huge lesson to any coach in any press box or any event. It’s not a good idea to do that because you never know what could happen. It’s very unfortunate. We feel bad for those families that they had to go through that experience.”
Perales honored by the Mountain West following career performance
Defensive end David Perales was named Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week after he racked up a career-high four sacks against the Spartans.
Adding to a run-stuffing tackle behind the line of scrimmage, Perales totaled 5 tackles for loss on Saturday, the second-most in a single game by any player across college football this season.
“That was a phenomenal night for him, the effort, the plays that he made getting 4 sacks and 5 tackles for loss. Just really played hard. It’s key that the other guys do their jobs as well so that they’re taking up blocks so David can maybe be one-on-one. I thought our defensive staff, Coach [Kevin] Coyle and the staff did a really nice job with the gameplan really mixing it up. He wasn’t only rushing, but he was dropping and he played a major role in the defensive gameplan, executed really well,” Tedford said.
“That’s the way he is in practice every single day. You kind of have to pull the reins back on him a little bit because he’s just so intense. But really happy for him and we really needed that effort, along with everybody else on defense. I thought our defense really played well, played hard, ran to the ball, did a good job with tackling. We’re going to need another one this week.”
Perales now has 6.5 sacks this season and 17.5 in his career.
He is the first Bulldog to earn the honor since safety Evan Williams was awarded it last season.
Haener still out, Fife expected to start again
Tedford’s injury prognosis for some of his best playmakers was once again the same on Monday as it has been for weeks now.
Quarterback Jake Haener and safety Evan Williams are both still week-to-week.
Quarterback Logan Fife posted his best game of the season against the Spartans, going 22-32 and one touchdown.
Fife will lead the Bulldogs on the road against New Mexico, a team that has struggled to a 2-5 record. But the Lobos are only giving up 22.6 points per game – fourth-best in the conference – under defensive coordinator Rocky Long.